Chris Hemsworth receives ‘strong hint’ of genetic predisposition to Alzheimer’s disease while filming new show


Chris Hemsworth embarked on a personal and physically demanding journey for his new series “Limitless” that ultimately led to a heartbreaking discovery.

The “Thor” actor, 39, learns in an episode of the Disney+/National Geographic limited series — which shows him exploring ways to improve his longevity and fight aging — that he has two copies of the APOE4 gene , one from each of his parents. , that is to say, has a high predisposition to develop Alzheimer’s disease.

“They took all my blood and ran a bunch of tests and the plan was to tell me on camera all the results and then talk about how you can improve this and that,” Hemsworth shared with Vanity Fair in an article published Thursday. “And Peter Attia, who is the longevity doctor for this episode, and who oversees a lot of the show, called [“Limitless” creator] Darren [Aronofsky] and he said, “I don’t want to tell him that on camera.” We need to have a conversation outside the game and see if he wants this on the show. It was quite shocking because he called me and said.”

Upon hearing the news, Hemsworth said he “had a ton of questions,” then added that he “didn’t really know what to think.” I said, ‘Am I supposed to be worried? Is this worrying?'”

He also said the show “was even more relevant and important to me, even more moving than I ever thought it would be,” adding that APOE4 “isn’t a predetermining gene, but it’s a strong indicator.” Ten years ago, I think it was thought of more as a determinant.”

The new information, which Hemsworth says makes him “eight to ten times more likely” to develop Alzheimer’s disease, naturally made him reflect on death and his own mortality.

“There was an intensity to navigating it. Most of us like to avoid talking about death in the hope of somehow avoiding it,” he told Vanity Fair. “We all have this belief that we’re going to get it right. Then all of a sudden they’re told that some big indicators actually point to this as the route that’s going to happen, the reality sinks in.”

“Limitless,” which shows the Marvel star engaging in various stunts and practices to extend and enhance his life, actually deals with facing death in the final episode.

“I think that’s my favorite episode. That’s where I worked with the death doula and people who work in palliative care and end-of-life care and then I talked to a number of people who were at the end of their days or had met them, even younger people who were diagnosed with cancer and didn’t have long to live,” he shared.

“Doing an episode about death and facing your own mortality made me go, ‘Oh my God, I’m not ready to go there yet,'” he later added. “I want to sit down and be in this space with a greater sense of stillness and gratitude. And then you start talking about the kids and the family and you’re like, “Oh my God, they’re getting older, they’re growing up, and I just keep slapping one movie on top of another.” Before you know it, they’re 18 and they’ve moved out, and I missed the window.”

In preparing the show for air, Hemsworth also mentioned that he was “offered a version of the episode where we didn’t talk about [his discovered genetic predisposition to Alzheimer’s]”, but that the prospect of helping others helped him overcome any doubts.

“I thought, ‘No, look, if this is a motivator for people to take better care of themselves and also understand that there are steps you can take, then great.'” My concern was that I didn’t want to manipulate it and over-dramatize it , and turn it into some kind of empathy or whatever for entertainment.”

Hemsworth, who recently appeared as the MCU’s God of Thunder in his fourth solo outing in this summer’s “Thor: Love and Thunder,” will next appear in another sequel, “Extraction 2” from the next year He’s also wrapping up an as-yet-undisclosed role in 2024’s “Furiosa,” starring Anya Taylor-Joy, set in the “Mad Max” universe.

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